Most people think of prenuptial agreements as legal documents for older, wealthy couples. Young couples (presumably) don’t have much to fight about, whereas older couples have already established homes, business, and wealth. They may have trusts or children to think about, too.
A new report from Business Insider suggests the times are changing. The publication states that there is a 62% increase in people requesting prenuptial agreements, which is being driven by millennials. According to an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) study, more than half of millennials who are getting married are asking for a prenup.
The reasons millennials are seeking premarital agreements
While hardly considered romantic, premarital agreements are commonly used to protect assets – to ensure the if you enter into a marriage with investments and possessions, that you’ll keep those items if you divorce. A leading reason millennials are seeking prenups, and prenup advice from family lawyers, is that they are postponing marriage while launching their careers and businesses. Millennials are waiting until their late 20s and early 30s before they settle down. Some of factors millennials are considering in asking for premarital protections are:
- They’re acquiring assets they want to protect. The assets millennials are buying aren’t just homes. Many millennials are investing in the stock market and startup businesses. Millennials who work in the technology sector are often offered stock options which have uncertain value because the tech companies wait before they go public.
- They’re considering the likelihood of future assets. Millennials who postpone marriage are more likely to come into an inheritance or receive a substantial gift before or after they marry.
- More women are working and acquiring assets and developing business. The Business Insider article also notes that according to a Pew Research Center, nearly 3/4 of women are employed. According to another AAML survey, 45% of women are now responsible for alimony payments when a marriage ends. Women are now understanding that they can benefit from a prenuptial agreement as much as men.
- They’re more practically minded than people give them credit for. Another factor is that millennials are less concerned that a prenuptial is “bad luck” or will lead to a divorce.
Some of the benefits of a premarital agreements
Premarital agreements can determine which property is considered marital property and which property is considered separate property. Generally, only marital property is divided through the North Carolina equitable distribution process. Prenups can determine, ahead of time, how assets are divided, how they are traded off, and who keeps control of a business. They can be used to determine whether a spouse is entitled to alimony and, if so, how much alimony and for how long.
What premarital agreements cannot do is determine physical custody, legal custody, or child support. Child custody and support decisions must be monitored and approved by the family court in order to protect the best interests of the child.
If you’re thinking of a prenup or have any questions about divorce, the Charlotte family lawyers at Epperson Law Group, PLLC, have the experience and resources to guide you through the end of a marriage. Our lawyers have been advising spouses and parents for more than 25 years. To schedule an appointment in our Charlotte, Boone or Weddington office, call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact page.